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Why you can expect to see an increase of Air Force aircraft in Richmond

Posted at 5:35 PM, Aug 09, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. – Over the next few months you can expect to see an increased presence of black Air Force aircraft over the Richmond area.

Starting in mid-August, scheduled maintenance at the Langley Air Force Base runway will move some of the operations to be conducted at Richmond International Airport.

F-22 operations will remain at Langley during the maintenance process, but “up to eight training missions will be conducted from Richmond International Airport daily,” the Air Force base said in a press release.

A T-38 Talon taxis down the runway at Langley Air Force Base, Va., March 26, 2012. The T-38s typically fly twice daily to provide adversary support at a fraction of the operational costs of other aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Teresa Cleveland/Released)

A T-38 Talon taxis down the runway at Langley Air Force Base, Va., March 26, 2012. The T-38s typically fly twice daily to provide adversary support at a fraction of the operational costs of other aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Teresa Cleveland/Released)

Richmond residents can expect to see an unfamiliar, black aircraft — the T-38C Talon — flown by Langley’s 71st Fighter Training Squadron.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Charles Hebert, 71st FTS commander, says shifting operations to Richmond during midday hours will ensure the squadron’s training mission can continue.

Hebert says a shorter runway during summer heat can create conditions that impact the T-38’s margin of safety.

“Our T-38s provide an exceptional adversary training platform to our sister squadrons’ F-22s,” said Hebert. “The T-38’s unique combination of speed, size and electronic countermeasures replicate certain elements of a potential adversary.”

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The T-38s do not carry live munitions.

Richmond residents can expect most of the operations to occur during normal business hours until mid-October

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